Thursday, August 07, 2008

Cleaning House

A quick reference from a great article on the Information Clearing House website:

Working Poor Unready to Revolt

By Joel S. Hirschhorn

06/08/08 ICH---Once upon a time when governments no longer served most of their citizens it was the most economically disadvantaged that could be counted on to rebel against tyranny and injustice. Times have changed, for the worse, despite the spread of democracy.

Here we are with a two-party plutocracy that preferentially serves corporate and wealthy interests and lets the middle class suffer and sink. Plausibly, the middle class is unready to revolt because it still maintains a relatively good standard of living despite rising economic insecurity. But what about the lowest 40 percent of Americans that are the working poor?

A recent survey of this group by the Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University conducted this past June looked at the beliefs of adults ages 18 to 64 working 30 or more hours a week, not self-employed and who earned no more than $27,000 in 2007. The results show a fascinating dichotomy. Though there is widespread pain and discontent there is also a stubborn faith in the American dream despite little help from government.
It elaborates on some of the themes I've touched on here. If you're into that sort of thing, check it out.


vjack said...

At the risk of beating the proverbial dead horse here, I'd suggest that one of the important factors preventing the working poor from revolting is religion. They have been taught that suffering is a good thing which will lead to rewards in the afterlife. By the time they realize they've been duped, it will be too late.

Father Shaggy said...

True enough. There are other ideological checks in place, too. Socialism is a bad word in the US, and you could slap that label on any reformation of the economy. And the ones benefitting the most will label anything that will help the middle and lower classes as socialism.

The US is still fighting the Cold War.